You guys, I made my very first dress! Like I cut out a paper pattern and everything!
(Boo, I forgot to bring my camera home to take pictures, so I had to make do with a little powershot point and shoot. Sorry for the low quality.)
I bought a handful of patterns from an estate sale for 10 cents a piece, so I figured it was pretty low stakes to start cutting into one of them. I still haven't cut into some of the basic Butterick patterns that I bought from JoAnn's for a $1 each because I'm still too scared to mess them up.
This is McCall's 2604, View E, cut in a size 8, except that I hacked off the paneled skirt at the natural waist. So it's basically a princess seamed bodice with a gathered skirt. Also, I'm also going to call this a "softly pleated" skirt instead of gathered because I gathered the skirt by hand and didn't exactly distribute evenly around the waist.
I made this out of 1.5 yards of a Lisette fabric from JoAnn's, some kind of cotton twill, I think, so it's pretty stiff. It was really tough to squeeze the dress out of so little fabric, which is why I ended up cutting off the pattern skirt since the pieces wouldn't fit on the fabric. The only fabric left from cutting this out is the little U left from the neckline! I actually cut the facings out of muslin because I couldn't squeeze it onto the main fabric.
I actually made this to wear to someone's wedding, and I really wish I had gotten pictures of it while I was there because the venue was gorgeous! It was at the Redwood Gardens in Sebastopol, CA. Seriously fairy tale-like grounds. Looking back though, it's a tad bright and over-the-top for a wedding. Probably should have stuck with something monotone, but this was the fabric that I had in my stash.
Woohoo for laziness! This is an extremely ugly zipper color that doesn't match anything since I got it at an estate sale, but it was the only one in my stash that was long enough, and as a bonus, it already had the hook part of the eye tacked onto the top of the zipper tape! And because I don't know what happened to the eye that should have gone with this hook, I just sewed on a jewelry split ring :)
And would you look at those catch-stiched facings? I actually did that after I wore the dress for the first time because I couldn't stop fiddling with those damn things. It looks so much nicer now, even though it still looks pretty horrific on the inside.
My beautiful hand-picked zipper! And almost-matched pattern! This tutorial from Sewaholic literally held my hand as I did this for the first time, and it looks great!
Can I let you in on a little secret? Most of the reason I did a hand-picked zipper was not actually because I wanted it to be invisible. Even though I admit it looks really nice now that I've done it. It's because (A) I don't actually know how to sew in a zipper and (B) I'm not sure I even own a damned zipper foot.
More beautiful catch-stitching. And another wonderfully instructive tutorial from Sewaholic on how to catch-stitch.